RIOULT Dance NY to Celebrate 20th Anniversary at 92nd Street Y, 2/14-15
RIOULT Dance NY, a leading American modern Dance Company with a classic sensibility, kicks off a year-long celebration of its 20th anniversary with performances on February 14-15, 2014 at 8pm at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center (92nd Street and Lexington Avenue, NYC). Tickets are $20 and are available at www.92Y.org/dance or 212.415.5500.
In 1992, The New York Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning wrote, "If Pascal Rioult keeps on creating the kinds of dances he has been choreographing with such authority for a mere three years, he may have to leave his job as a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company and become a full-time choreographer." In 1994 Rioult officially incorporated his company. Twenty years later, he will pays homage to his mentors May O'Donnell and Martha Graham with this unique program, providing insight to the evolution of an artist and an art form. It marks a rare opportunity to see the works of these dance pioneers in an intimate setting complete with video montages exploring the relationships between the pieces. Additionally, the program also offers an exclusive sneak peak at part of what RIOULT will present at its 20th Anniversary New York Season this June.
The program will open with a restaging of May O'Donnell's Suspension (1943) that has been set on the company by former May O'Donnell Dance Company dancers Lynn Frielinghaus, Barbara Allegra Verlezza, and Nancy Lushington. The evening also includes Martha Graham's El Penitente (1940) set to music by Louis Horst, with Mr. Rioult, Joyce Herring, and Kenneth Topping all teaching their former roles to current dancers. Two pieces by Pascal Rioult complete the evening: Views of the Fleeting World (2008) set to J.S. Bach's "The Art of Fugue" and Wien (1995) set to Maurice Ravel's "La Valse."
"I am thrilled to be presenting this program at the 92nd Street Y. I began my work as a choreographer there, including the creation of Wien," said Pascal Rioult, Artistic Director of RIOULT Dance NY. "The evenings will honor two of my cherished mentors, May O'Donnell and Martha Graham, and will illustrate how their works have influence my choreography."
El Penitente premiered in 1940 at Bennington College in Vermont, part of the Bennington School of the Dance, now the American Dance Festival. The dance has the look of primitive folk art come to life. Born out of Martha Graham's fascination with the American southwest and specifically a sect of Penitents who believed in purification through severe penance, the dance has a simple formalism, episodic structure, and naïve, archaic gestures. Constructed as a play within a play, El Penitente opens with the entrance of a troupe of strolling players. They don their costumes and enact a series of vignettes from the Bible. Audiences see a childlike pageant that includes flagellation, revelation, seduction, repentance, crucifixion, and salvation - a stylized meshing of dance of celebration perhaps meant to inspire the generosity of the onlookers.
"...at the still point of the turning world, there the dance is..." - T.S. Eliot
The dancers move in a state of suspended balance and order in which the harmony is maintained by the independent patterns which join, separate, energize, and become tension points for each other to maintain the order and balance of the whole. The idea and ideal of Suspension uses the dance as a medium where harmony and balance are maintained between individuals. It might be said that Suspension is like the planetary system existing in space and eternity, where each planet maintains a position of independence and balance in relation to the whole.
Views of the Fleeting World was inspired by the ancient woodblock prints of the Japanese master Hiroshige and the ingenious structure of Bach's musical score. The ephemeral quality of all living things and the eternal cycle of life are the themes that Rioult found common, and explored in this contemporary dance work. Each of the nine short vignettes - "Orchard," "Gathering Storm," "Wild Horses," "Dusk, Rain," "Night Ride," "Summer Wind," "Moonlight," and "Flowing River" - captures a moment in time and nature through the colors, lines and rhythm of the dance. These moments reflect the depth of emotion that can be found in such seemingly spare and simple elements.
Wien turns the Viennese waltz's revered image of grace, clarity and social refinement inside out, using it as a metaphor to expose the decadence and moral disintegration of a society. Six dancers create the illusion of an entire city, moving continuously in a large, clockwise path, alternating in their portrayal of victims violently swept to humiliation, imprisonment, and death, to aristocrats aloof and detached from the horrific reality.
The 20th Anniversary Celebration will take place on Friday, February 14, 2014 - 8pm and Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 8pm at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center, corner of 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Tickets: $20 for performance. 92Y Box Office: 1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128, open Sun-Thu: 12 pm-8 pm, Fri: 12-5pm. Phone: 212.415.5500. Online: http://www.92y.org/Event/Rioult-Dance-NY.aspx.
RIOULT Dance NY, celebrating its 20th Anniversary in the 2013-2014 Season, fast became an established name in modern dance with a reputation for bringing the sensual, articulate and musical dance works of Pascal Rioult to audiences worldwide. The twelve-dancer company, based in New York City, is led by husband-and-wife team Artistic Director/Choreographer Pascal Rioult and Associate Artistic Director Joyce Herring - both former Martha Graham Dance Company principal dancers. With an established repertoire of over 40 dances that expands each year, RIOULT Dance NY presents an annual New York Season and tours nationally and abroad. In addition, in-school arts education and community outreach have been integral to the company since its inception, introducing students and families to the art of modern dance. www.rioult.org
92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. Through the breadth and depth of of 92Y's extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. More than 300,000 people a year visit 92Y's New York City venues, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit www.92Y.org.